House OKs budget bill after stiff criticism by Democrats

Local News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives is advancing a just-unveiled $34 billion compromise budget plan after hard criticism by rank-and-file Democrats, including a floor fight over whether Democrats could criticize the package for lacking a minimum wage increase.

The main budget bill passed Tuesday, 140-62. The spending plan is agreed to by leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

Senate approval also is required.

It uses strong tax collections to boost aid to public schools and universities, hold the line on taxes and stuff cash into a reserve.

But rank-and-file Democrats fought an order by House Speaker Mike Turzai to stop bringing up the minimum wage during floor debate.

Republicans oppose an increase in Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. Democrats also criticized the plan as failing to do enough to help working people.

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